Predation on Blue Tilapia by Largemouth Bass, in Experimental Ponds

In pond predation studies, 4 total length (TL) groups (152 - 406 mm TL) of Florida largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides floridaiu.Ls) were each provided 4 length groups (51 - 140 mm TL) of blue tilapia (Tilapia aurea) as forage. Estimated maximum length of tilapia that 38 - 500 mm TL bass can swallow ranged from 36 61% of the bass's total length. Bass <254 mm TL ate tilapia which approximated the maximum estimated length they could swallow. Bass >381 mm TL rarely ate tilapia >27% of their total length. Regression analysis of blue tilapia total length (mm) versus body depth (D; mm) was D = 0.322TL - 2.68 (r = 0.99). Due to the importance of the bass fIshery in Florida, the impact of blue tilapia may ultimately be judged largely on its value as bass prey.

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